Rabbi Danny Nevins in the Detroit Jewish News

From the Detroit Jewish News
By Shelli Liebman Dorfman

Rabbi Daniel Nevins sees his new job as dean of the rabbinical school at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary in New York as “both an honor and a challenge.”

The rabbi has served Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills for 13 years. He will begin his new post on July 1, moving to New York with his wife, Lynn, and their three children. The move also will take him nearer to his family in New Jersey.

“As dean, I will recruit and direct hundreds of new rabbis as they begin their journey of serving God and the Jewish people,” wrote Rabbi Nevins, 40, in a Jan. 29 letter to congregants of the 1,050-family synagogue. “Without doubt, it is the great reputation of Adat Shalom that inspired the JTS search committee to ask me to serve as dean of our movement’s oldest and largest rabbinical school.”

Of becoming the dean of the school from which he received rabbinic ordination in 1994, he said, “I am honored and excited by the opportunity to serve as Pearl Resnick dean,” Rabbi Nevins said. “I have had an extraordinary experience as rabbi of Adat Shalom Synagogue. I have experimented in the ultimate laboratory of Jewish life, learning what works through the prism of countless pastoral, intellectual and spiritual interactions with my congregation. I will miss my community, but I will take what I have learned from them to benefit the next generation of rabbis.” […]

Communal reaction to Rabbi Nevins’ new post is bittersweet.

Rabbi Jason Miller, who grew up at Adat Shalom and now serves Congregation Agudas Achim in Columbus, Ohio, said, “Danny is a rabbi’s rabbi and always seems to just ‘get it.’ When I was in rabbinical school at JTS, my classmates would ask me to call Danny when they had questions.

“He is an academic and a spiritual guide. He is progressive and yet always guarding the tradition. This is a wonderful choice for JTS and for our movement. Together with Chancellor Arnie Eisen, Dean Danny Nevins will help get us to where we need to be.”

Rabbi Nevins succeeds Rabbi William Lebeau, who twice served as dean of the rabbinic school.

In a letter to his congregation, Adat Shalom President David Schostak wrote: “We are very sorry to see him go, but we take pride in the fact that he has excelled to the point that he has been asked to be dean of the rabbinical school, one of the highest and most important positions in our movement.”

In his congregational letter, Rabbi Nevins wrote: “As I reflect upon these years, I am filled with gratitude to God for allowing me to work with such an extraordinary community. These years have been ones of deep satisfaction. I feel truly blessed and cannot imagine being happier as a congregational rabbi.”

Praising his rabbinic colleagues, professional staff and lay leadership, he said, “I am confident that our congregation will continue to flourish.”

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | http://blog.rabbijason.com | Twitter: @RabbiJason | facebook.com/rabbijasonmiller